Ford team boss Malcolm Wilson insists that his team isn't out of Rally Cyprus despite seeing rivals Citroen dominate the opening day of the mixed-surface event.
Sebastien Loeb took five stages win with the final stage of the day going the way of Dani Sordo as the pair ended Friday's tarmac leg in first and second place, with Ford's Mikko Hirvonen in third after admitting he had taken it too easy through the morning's three stages.
However, an improved performance from Hirvonen during the afternoon saw him end the day less than 20 seconds behind Sordo and a minute behind Loeb, with team-mate Jari-Matti Latvala close behind in fourth place.
With the second leg of the rally being run on gravel, Hirvonen and Latvala will benefit from a better road position for the five stages that make up Saturday and Ford boss Malcolm Wilson admitted that anything could still happen, despite Loeb's domination of day one.
“I think this rally is going to be very interesting,” he said. “I think we have seen a very interesting day today and Sebastien has a fantastic lead. No one knows what is going to happen. On the recce the guys said it was very wet and treacherous, so it is certainly not all over and even a one-minute lead tomorrow night may not be enough with the long stage on Sunday. I am sure there will be some changes on the leader board before the end of the rally.
“We are definitely not giving up. It is going to be very difficult to beat Sebastien, but there are a lot of difficult stages to go. There is only one stage with double usage and that makes it more interesting for all the crews.”